How Content Can Succeed By Making Enemies – Whiteboard Friday

How Content Can Succeed By Making Enemies - Whiteboard Friday

Posted by randfish

Getting readers on board with your ideas isn’t the only way to achieve content success. Sometimes, stirring up a little controversy and earning a few rivals can work incredibly well — but there’s certainly a right and a wrong way to do it. Rand details how to use the power of making enemies work to your advantage in today’s Whiteboard Friday.

How content can succeed by making enemies

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Video Transcription

Howdy, Moz fans, and welcome to another edition of Whiteboard Friday. Today, we’re going to chat about something a little interesting — how content can succeed by making enemies. I know you’re thinking to yourself, "Wait a minute, I thought my job was to make friends with my content." Yes, and one of the best ways to make close friends is to make enemies too.

So, in my opinion, I think that companies and businesses, programs, organizations of all kinds, efforts of all kinds tend to do really well when they get people on their side. So if I’m trying to create a movement or I’m trying to get people to believe in what I’m doing, I need to have positions, data, stories, and content that can bring people to my site. One of the best ways to do that is actually to think about it in opposition to something else, basically try and figure out how you can earn some enemies.

A few examples of content that makes enemies & allies

I’ll give you a few examples, because I think that will help add some context here. I did a little bit of research. My share data is from BuzzSumo, and my link data here is from Ahrefs. But for example, this piece called "There Are Now Twice as Many Solar Jobs as Coal Jobs in the US," this is essentially just data-driven content, but it clearly makes friends and enemies. It makes enemies with sort of this classic, old-school Americana belief set around how important coal jobs are, and it creates, through the enemy that it builds around that, simply by sharing data, it also creates allies, people who are on the side of this story, who want to share it and amplify it and have it reach its potential and reach more people.

Same is true here. So this is a story called "Yoga Is a Good Alternative to Physical Therapy." Clearly, it did extremely well, tens of thousands of shares and thousands of links, lots of ranking keywords for it. But it creates some enemies. Physical therapists are not going to be thrilled that this is the case. Despite the research behind it, this is frustrating for many of those folks. So you’ve created friends, allies, people who are yoga practitioners and yoga instructors. You’ve also created enemies, potentially those folks who don’t believe that this might be the case despite what the research might show.

Third one, "The 50 Most Powerful Public Relations Firms in America," I think this was actually from The Observer. So they’re writing in the UK, but they managed to rank for lots and lots of keywords around "best PR firms" and all those sorts of things. They have thousands of shares, thousands of links. I mean 11,000 links, that’s darn impressive for a story of this nature. And they’ve created enemies. They’ve created enemies of all the people who are not in the 50 most powerful, who feel that they should be, and they’ve created allies of the people who are in there. They’ve also created some allies and enemies deeper inside the story, which you can check out.

"Replace Your Lawn with These Superior Alternatives," well, guess what? You have now created some enemies in the lawn care world and in the lawn supply world and in the passionate communities, very passionate communities, especially here in the United States, around people who sort of believe that homes should have lawns and nothing else, grass lawns in this case. This piece didn’t do that well in terms of shares, but did phenomenally well in terms of links. This was on Lifehacker, and it ranks for all sorts of things, 11,000+ links.

Before you create, ask yourself: Who will help amplify this, and why?

So you can see that these might not be things that you naturally think of as earning enemies. But when you’re creating content, if you can go through this exercise, I have this rule, that I’ve talked about many times over the years, for content success, especially content amplification success. That is before you ever create something, before you brainstorm the idea, come up with the title, come up with the content, before you do that, ask yourself: Who will help amplify this and why? Why will they help?

One of the great things about framing things in terms of who are my allies, the people on my side, and who are the enemies I’m going to create is that the "who" becomes much more clear. The people who support your ideas, your ethics, or your position, your logic, your data and want to help amplify that, those are people who are potential amplifiers. The people, the detractors, the enemies that you’re going to build help you often to identify that group.

The "why" becomes much more clear too. The existence of that common enemy, the chance to show that you have support and beliefs in people, that’s a powerful catalyst for that amplification, for the behavior you’re attempting to drive in your community and your content consumers. I’ve found that thinking about it this way often gets content creators and SEOs in the right frame of mind to build stuff that can do really well.

Some dos and don’ts

Do… backup content with data

A few dos and don’ts if you’re pursuing this path of content generation and ideation. Do back up as much as you can with facts and data, not just opinion. That should be relatively obvious, but it can be dangerous in this kind of world, as you go down this path, to not do that.

Do… convey a world view

I do suggest that you try and convey a world view, not necessarily if you’re thinking on the political spectrum of like from all the way left to all the way right or those kinds of things. I think it’s okay to convey a world view around it, but I would urge you to provide multiple angles of appeal.

So if you’re saying, "Hey, you should replace your lawn with these superior alternatives," don’t make it purely that it’s about conservation and ecological health. You can also make it about financial responsibility. You can also make it about the ease with which you can care for these lawns versus other ones. So now it becomes something that appeals across a broader range of the spectrum.

Same thing with something like solar jobs versus coal jobs. If you can get it to be economically focused and you can give it a capitalist bent, you can potentially appeal to multiple ends of the ideological spectrum with that world view.

Do… collect input from notable parties

Third, I would urge you to get inputs from notable folks before you create and publish this content, especially if the issue that you’re talking about is going to be culturally or socially or politically charged. Some of these fit into that. Yoga probably not so much, but potentially the solar jobs/coal jobs one, that might be something to run the actual content that you’ve created by some folks who are in the energy space so that they can help you along those lines, potentially the energy and the political space if you can.

Don’t… be provocative just to be provocative

Some don’ts. I do not urge you and I’m not suggesting that you should create provocative content purely to be provocative. Instead, I’m urging you to think about the content that you create and how you angle it using this framing of mind rather than saying, "Okay, what could we say that would really piss people off?" That’s not what I’m urging you to do. I’m urging you to say, "How can we take things that we already have, beliefs and positions, data, stories, whatever content and how do we angle them in such a way that we think about who are the enemies, who are the allies, how do we get that buy-in, how do we get that amplification?"

Don’t… choose indefensible positions

Second, I would not choose enemies or positions that you can’t defend against. So, for example, if you were considering a path that you think might get you into a world of litigious danger, you should probably stay away from that. Likewise, if your positions are relatively indefensible and you’ve talked to some folks in the field and done the dues and they’re like, "I don’t know about that," you might not want to pursue it.

Don’t… give up on the first try

Third, do not give up if your first attempts in this sort of framing don’t work. You should expect that you will have to, just like any other form of content, practice, iterate, and do this multiple times before you have success.

Don’t… be unprofessional

Don’t be unprofessional when you do this type of content. It can be a little bit tempting when you’re framing things in terms of, "How do I make enemies out of this?" to get on the attack. That is not necessary. I think that actually content that builds enemies does so even better when it does it from a non-attack vector mode.

Don’t… sweat the Haterade

Don’t forget that if you’re getting some Haterade for the content you create, a lot of people when they start drinking the Haterade online, they run. They think, "Okay, we’ve done something wrong." That’s actually not the case. In my experience, that means you’re doing something right. You’re building something special. People don’t tend to fight against and argue against ideas and people and organizations for no reason. They do so because they’re a threat.

If you’ve created a threat to your enemies, you have also generally created something special for your allies and the people on your side. That means you’re doing something right. In Moz’s early days, I can tell you, back when we were called SEOmoz, for years and years and years we got all sorts of hate, and it was actually a pretty good sign that we were doing something right, that we were building something special.

So I look forward to your comments. I’d love to see any examples of stuff that you have as well, and we’ll see you again next week for another edition of Whiteboard Friday. Take care.

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5 Best WordPress Plugins to Improve Content Productivity

5 Best WordPress Plugins to Improve Content Productivity

WordPress is one of the most powerful Contents Management System. Out of billions of websites on the internet, most of them are powered by WordPress. The question arises why? It is because it is insanely user-friendly and this is the biggest reason for them all. WordPress empowers so many users to publish their blogs. There […]

The post 5 Best WordPress Plugins to Improve Content Productivity appeared first on WordPress Howto Spotter.

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Get Early Access to Google’s Experimental Projects by @MattGSouthern

Get Early Access to Google’s Experimental Projects by @MattGSouthern

Google is giving people the opportunity to sign up for early access to experimental projects from its Area 120 incubator.

Employees at Google are encouraged to spend 20% of their time working on projects that are not directly related to their job. Area 120 is where Googlers work on these projects.

Some of Google’s products that are now used by people every day started off as 20% projects. This includes products such as Gmail, Google Maps, Google News, and AdSense.

Could you imagine being able to say you were one of the first people to ever use Gmail or Google Maps?

In the future, you may be able to say something to that effect. You might even get to use experimental products that do not end up getting released to the public.

Most recently, Area 120 has released a social YouTube app called Uptime, and VR/3D advertising project called Advr.

It’s not known what’s coming out next from Area 120, or what they’re currently working on, but you now have the opportunity to get an advanced look. Both Android and iOS users are eligible to join the early access program.

via Search Engine Journal Read More…

Google Posts Not Available to All Businesses… Yet by @MattGSouthern

Google Posts Not Available to All Businesses… Yet by @MattGSouthern

Google introduced a new feature for Google My Business last week called Posts. It has since become apparent that the feature is not available to all businesses yet.

In Google’s original announcement post, the company implied that Posts was rolling out worldwide to all businesses with a verified GMB listing.

Marissa Nordahl, Community Manager for Google My Business, recently confirmed Posts has not been launched to all business categories.

Nordahl specified that local posts are not yet available to businesses in the “Hotels” category. However, there may still be businesses in other categories that were not included in the initial launch.

Here is Nordahl’s full statement:

“Thanks for all of the excitement around this launch – we’re equally excited and definitely want to get you posting! If you’re not seeing the Posts section on your business page, it might be because we haven’t launched to all business categories. “Hotels” is the category where local posts are not available (yet).”

If you’re not yet able to publish local posts from Google My Business, you can request access by submitting your Google Maps URL to this form.

Access is not guaranteed after submitting the form, but Nordahl says the company will do its best to help out. A response can be expected within 2-3 business days after submitting your Maps URL.

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Content King SEO tool review: tracking on-page changes

Content King SEO tool review: tracking on-page changes

We’ve tons of SEO tools out there. For backlinks, content, technical audits, crawl, keywords. Countless features to make your life better and rock the SERPs. Content King is a new one on the list, and this post is for those considering adding it to your arsenal of tools.

Content King is a SaaS presenting themselves as “a real-time SEO auditing” tool. It allows you to crawl a website, keep track of on-page changes and the overall technical health of a website for SEO and social. They give a page score based on the best-practices and allows users to find out about errors on a page level.

One of the most prominent features is the ability to save historical data of on-page changes, so you know what has changed over time.

The main features reviewed by Content King are:

  • Titles & Descriptions
  • Headers
  • (Google/Adobe) Analytics trackings
  • Canonical links
  • (If page is on) Sitemap
  • Twitter cards
  • (Facebook) Open graph cards
  • Links
  • Alt tags

You can start crawling a website (cost is accordingly to the number of pages, starting on 12.50€ for a 100 pages website) and all this data above is extracted quickly. Then, one screen shows the issues per page and another shows an overview of the issues. You can then dig into each problem and see where it is and how to fix them.

Both by page and domain they give a health score between 0-4000. You can then filter pages according to the current score and relevance and see the issues only for a certain group of pages. This scoring seems confusing to me, but according to them they tested a 0-100 score and found this to the most optimum option.

Cases when Content King can make your life easier

Apart from the basic items such as titles, descriptions, broken links, redirects and the usual checklist, I found a few scenarios where Content King could have helped me in the past.

I recommended a client to add a 301 from the old to the new version of a page. They instead just removed the old one, which was ranking well and had historical signals. It took a few weeks until I touched the website again to find out that rankings (and business) were lost. Content King is releasing by the end of July an alert feature that would alert me quickly about this new 404 and I would have easily found the problem.

Some large companies have so many stakeholders that simple changes (e.g. remove a line on robots.txt, redirects, canonicals) take a while to be completed. Rather than going back to my checklist and testing if things were done, it’s much easier to see on one screen if some improvement was done. It saves time.

A third case is websites managed by a lot of people. Another client of mine has different teams managing certain products/sections on their website. As SEO changes are just a small part of their work, sometimes takes a while until these updates are done. There is a new feature coming in July that will allow users to create page segments. This would allow me to work together with stakeholders in each section and track if work has been done.

Overall, you can see if any changes were made and this can help you to find out why results when up or down.


Every tool has a few issues here and there. These are the ones I had while using Content King:

There is an option to re-crawl a specific page instead of waiting until the next crawl happens (which varies between hours or days, depending on the depth level in the structure). I made on-page changes just to see if the tool would track the change. I had this problem with a few pages but, in most cases, this request works.

A warning that a whole website had no analytics tracking whatsoever where in fact there is one in place, added with Google Tag Manager. The answer I received from Content King is that depending on how the tracking is done the tool have difficulties in tracking it, but they are working on a solution.


While Content King is definitively a useful tool, there are a few things I would like to see there to make the tool more useful. I had a chat with Steven van Vessum from their support team and in fact, some of these suggestions are being worked on.

Make it easier to identify if a problem is a “one fix fits all”. For instance, in the links section, I found an issue that “98% of pages contains links to redirects”. At first, this seems to be a big problem, but it’s just one menu link with a redirect.

Links to internal guides under each one of the issues explaining how to identify and fix them. There is already a well though short paragraph explaining each issue and they have an academy section on the website, so would just be a matter of adding links from the tool.

My last suggestion would be the option to ignore certain changes on a page level. Let’s say if a page has dynamically generated links and these links are under a header, every time Content King crawls the page, new changes are found, even though you have not taken action to make a change (and they are not relevant). The option to filter changes is on their roadmap, but the ability to ignore headers after [x] appearances could also work.

In this case of Learn Inbound, every time you reload a page there are new suggested posts. You will then end up with a huge list of h2 changes, but these changes do not really matter.

New Features

Between June and July there a few new features coming up. Those are:

  • Identify AMP, hreflang, mobile and pagination
  • Calendar filtering for tracked changes
  • WP Plugin
  • Email reports


Overall Content King is a tool with potential and they are frequently adding new features, some already mentioned in this post. Websites managed by non-technical people, large groups, agencies or dealing with frequent testing can benefit from this tool.

Besides the real-time updates which are really valid, most of the features can be found manually. The advantage here is to make workflow quicker. You can give it a try for free to find out if the tool is interesting for you before deciding if you need an extra hand or not.

Post from Gustavo Pelogia

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How Google Posts Can Benefit Your Business

How Google Posts Can Benefit Your Business

Google has finally released Google Posts to the masses! Now that we all have access, we have been diving in to figure out how to use them, how to best utilize them, and where they are appearing in the SERPs. We will update this post with any new insights in the coming weeks as we continue to test.

What are Google Posts?

Google Posts allow you to post text and photos directly to your Google My Business (GMB) listing and will appear in search and maps. These posts are useful for small businesses that do not have a website or social media channel to post updates, such as new promotional offers, upcoming seasonal sales, same-day flash sales, or even a new product launch.

How do you set up a Google Post in Google My Business?

Posts can be made by logging into your GMB account or through the GMB app. A GMB account is required to use Google Posts and for your business to appear in the local pack.

As far as the benefits of Google Posts go, having the ability to publish on an app makes it really easy for business owners to share information on-the-fly without being tied to a computer.

Google Posts can be up to 300 characters, They can also be marked as an event which will prompt you to put an event name, start/end day, and time:

Or for non events, you can “add a button,” which lets you include a website and prompt users to take  action:

What opportunities can come from this?

Google Posts can promote events in advance or as they are happening. For example:

  • A store has a flash sale or one-day-only promotion. A Google Post can prompt customers to know about daily specials or in-store promotions.
  • Share emergency updates, such if there was a school closing due to inclement weather, that school could post directly on their listing.
  • For business that have a very visual process, Google Posts are another way to share photos.
  • Give people an easy, direct way to book appointments or reservations.
  • Gives the ability to push “People also search for” down below the fold for branded searches.
  • Share open job positions. (This is what we are testing out here at Seer.):

How can you track engagement if you spend the time to make a post?

  • Google reports on the number of views
  • URL tagging
  • Coupon codes can also be used to track engagement, specifically if a code was added to a post and people come into the business or make an online purchase with that code.

Have we seen this elsewhere? Any similarities between this & other products?

  • Facebook calls to action – tracks Book Now, Contact Us, Use App, Play Game, Shop Now, Watch Video.
  • One more place to drive action

What is the future of Google Posts?

Presently, it’s taking up right hand column space. Likely, you’d have to pay to be here in the future, as we’ve seen with other rollouts like Google Product/Base/Shopping. Since this feature is not even a week old, we’ll be sure to follow up with more information on Google Posts as it materializes. Stay tuned as we’ll have data from our own Google Posts to share!

via Seer Interactive Read More…

10 Product Page Split Tests To Increase Your Ecommerce Conversions

10 Product Page Split Tests To Increase Your Ecommerce Conversions

10 Product Page Split Tests To Increase Your Ecommerce Conversions

In order to execute a successful pay-per-click (PPC) marketing campaign, a significant amount of split testing is typically involved.

With Facebook ads, for example, you need to test the image, value proposition, call-to-action, headline, body text and audience for each ad. Because of the infinite number of combinations available to test, it often takes some trial and error before you get an ad that has a high click-through-rate (CTR) with a low cost-per-click (CPC).

Even once you’re able to send prospective buyers to your website, you’re still not home free. Next, you need to test a number of things on your product page before you can achieve a good conversion rate.

Did you know only 22% of businesses are actually satisfied with their conversion rates?

In fact, 85% of marketers are now focusing on conversion rate optimization. If you aren’t meticulously split testing your product pages, then you’re leaving money on the table.

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to split testing. What works for one business may have disastrous results for another.

Bearing that in mind, here are some of the product page split tests that you can conduct to improve your eCommerce conversions.

1. Add-to-cart button colors

Your add-to-cart button should be the focal point of your landing page. If people don’t notice it, for whatever reason, this will negatively impact your conversions.

Much has been written about the ideal color for add-to-cart buttons, and there are no definitive answers. One point of view is that you should choose a color for your button that dramatically contrasts with the rest of your branding in order to stand out. But there is no conclusive evidence that this works.

In a study of 50 leading eCommerce brands, 32% used orange add-to-cart buttons while 24% used blue. There wasn’t a consensus about what worked best because every company is different.

However, it’s worth your time to split test several different colors for your business. In an eCommerce split test performed by Receptional, a click rate increase of 344% was achieved by changing the store’s add-to-cart buttons from orange to purple.

2. Pricing displays

The way you present your pricing information is incredibly important. You can test the results of tiered pricing vs. straight pricing in a split test.

With straight pricing, you simply display the price of the product. With tiered pricing, you offer prospects the appearance of options (even though most will elect the middle choice in a tier).

Variant A (below) represents straight pricing.

Variant B, from web host iPage, represents tiered pricing.

In addition, think carefully about whether your pricing information is displayed prominently enough on your product page.

Royal Discount, an eCommerce company that offers discounted computer software from recognized manufacturers, uses a business model dependent on competitive pricing.

The company hypothesized that pricing information on product pages may not have been sufficiently emphasized and was harming conversions.

It added a crossed out Manufacturer’s Suggested Price, next to the display pricing, which boosted conversions slightly. Next, it ran a split test for 30+ days where sales prices were displayed in bold, and in a larger font size (compared to the control landing page).

The new landing page improved conversions by 36.54%, increasing the company’s revenue by 10.21%.

3. Free shipping

In addition to split testing your pricing displays, you may want to experiment with increasing your product prices and offering free shipping to compensate for that. Unexpected shipping charges at the checkout are the number one cause of abandoned carts so this also helps solve that problem.

Customers will be more inclined to purchase if they think they’re benefitting from free shipping, even if they’re actually paying you exactly the same amount of money.

After all, it doesn’t matter to you whether you receive $15 for a product and $5 for shipping, as opposed to $20 for a product and $0 for shipping. What matters is increasing the number of conversions on you product page – so be sure to split test different shipping options.

NuFace, a manufacturer of skincare products, experimented with placing a ‘FREE SHIPPING OVER $75’ banner prominently on its online store. This test resulted in a 90% increase in orders, as well as a 7.32% increase in average order value.

In other words, the free shipping offer enticed people to buy additional products at the store.

4. Social proof elements

It’s universally acknowledged that having social proof elements, such as customer reviews and testimonials, on a product page is a good thing. If you’ve just arrived at an unknown company’s website via a Facebook ad, it’s unlikely you’ll purchase from them unless they’ve won over your trust.

According to a study by Nielsen, 92% of people will trust a recommendation from someone that they know and 70% of people will trust a recommendation from someone that they don’t know if they’re exposed to factors that build trust.

Posting testimonials, reviews and possibly even celebrity endorsements on your product page will help to alleviate anxiety and increase conversions.

FigLeaves, a retailer of women’s clothing, improved conversions by 35% after adding customer reviews to the site.

Test whether reviews improve your conversions. If you get a positive result, also test where your reviews are positioned on your product page.

A range of star ratings also help to build trust, unlike an abundance of sugarcoated 5-star reviews with no signs of negativity. In the real world, no company is flawless and consumers understand this. They expect to see minor criticisms.

Vegan Horizon, a manufacturer of cruelty-free, non-leather accessories, improved conversions by 9.8% after installing Sales Pop – a Shopify app that displays pop-ups of recent customer purchases for social proof purposes.

You may also want to split test Facebook comment screenshots as a form of social proof. Check out this screenshot of a product page by Frontline Gadgets advertising a tactical watch.

With so many links and positive comments posted on a reputable social media platform, this simple screenshot demonstrates authenticity and trust.

5. Security badges

Falling victim to online fraud is a legitimate concern for today’s consumers. If someone is going to enter their credit card details at your checkout page, they need to feel safe and secure in doing so.

In a study on cart abandonment, 13% of shoppers stated that security concerns were an issue for them. One of the best ways to deliver a firm sense of security is by featuring a trust badge on your product and/or checkout page.

Symantec, formerly known as VeriSign, is one of the most well-renowned Internet security companies. Its distinctive trust badge is highly recognizable.

By incorporating this trust badge on a request-a-quote landing page, Blue Fountain Media increased their conversions by 42%.

You can also test a money back guarantee (if appropriate) on your landing page, since this alleviates consumer anxiety about buying a defective or misrepresented product.

6. FAQs

If you’re using Facebook ads to send traffic to your product page, carefully consider the comments you receive beneath the ads. If people are asking the same questions time and time again, provide answers to them on your product page.

Cover the features of your product in your FAQs, as well as any potential shipping and delivery queries. The more detailed information you can convey, the more people will feel secure in making a purchase.

Although building a FAQ section can be tedious, it’s definitely worth the effort. If you use Inspectlet to watch how visitors interact with your landing page, you might be pleasantly surprised to see how much time they spend browsing your FAQs.

While not an eCommerce brand, non-profit organization Kiva improved its conversion rate by 11.5% as a result of featuring FAQs on the company’s donation page.

7. Payment options

In a study of online shopping, 28% of shoppers revealed that they abandoned purchases when their preferred method of payment was unavailable. Since 57% of shoppers use their credit/debit cards while another 29% use a digital wallet such as PayPal, you can retain most customers by offering both options.

If you’re using Shopify, register a PayPal business account and enable PayPal checkouts on your store. The process is very straightforward and can dramatically improve your conversion rate.

Additionally, you can allow visitors to check out via PayPal without registering a Paypal account. Check out the following guide for doing so.

8. Live chat

If you’re driving a sizeable amount of traffic to your product page but your conversion rate is poor, you might want to consider integrating a live chat feature on your site. Research indicates that visitors invited to chat are 6.3 times more likely to become customers than those who don’t chat.

Similar to FAQs, live chat can help alleviate fear and build trust. Plus, live chat is far more personal – it allows you to answer any specific queries as well as inject some humanity into your brand, which ultimately boosts conversions.

Live chat can also be extremely great at reviving abandoned carts. By inviting these individuals to speak with you in real-time, you get feedback as to why they haven’t gone through with the purchase. Then you can (hopefully) make the necessary adjustments to get them to convert.

Split test whether live chat works for you. If you don’t notice an increase in conversions with live chat enabled, don’t pursue it, as it can eat up a lot of time.

9. Video

Visual content, particularly video, is essential if you want to engage consumers in this distraction-ridden age of information. In fact, a study by Microsoft shows that the average person now has a shorter attention span than a goldfish.

A video is a sensory-rich medium that allows you to convey your message effectively and engagingly.

A store selling paintball equipment, Paintball Online, integrated videos on more than 5,000 product pages. The result was that pages which included videos were viewed for two minutes on average whereas pages without videos were viewed for only 35 seconds.

There are many talented freelancers on UpWork who can put together an inexpensive whiteboard explainer video to showcase your product.

Put a video on your product page and test whether it improves conversions.

10. Scarcity and urgency elements

You need to encourage consumers to purchase your product from the moment they arrive at your landing page – otherwise, they might procrastinate and plan to return to the page later. You can run a retargeting campaign to re-engage former visitors to your site, but you’ll spend less money on ads if they convert the first time.

By using urgent language and conveying the scarcity of your product, visitors will be encouraged to convert then and there.

One of the easiest ways to inject urgency into your product page is with a countdown timer. If you’re using Shopify, try installing the Hurrify app and testing the results.

Marcus Taylor says on Conversion XL that he achieved an incredible conversion rate boost from 3.5% to 10% by putting urgency and scarcity elements on his landing page. The new landing page featured a countdown timer and a counter of products currently sold (which leveraged social proof).

Taylor split tested both landing pages simultaneously and logged the results.

Here is Variation A of the landing page:

And here is the high-performing Variation B:

If someone believes that your product is in limited supply (and there are social proof elements that suggest the demand is high) your conversion rate is likely to increase.

Summing up

While we might have only covered the tip of the iceberg, I hope this post has shown you how valuable – and I would say necessary – using product page split tests is to improve your eCommerce conversions.

Can you think of any other product page split tests that can help improve your conversion rate? Please let me know in the comments below.

Guest Author: Aaron Agius is an experienced search, content and social marketer. He has worked with some of the world’s largest and most recognized brands, including Salesforce, Coca-Cola, Target and others, to build their online presence. See more from Aaron at Louder Online, his blogFacebookTwitterGoogle+and LinkedIn.

The post 10 Product Page Split Tests To Increase Your Ecommerce Conversions appeared first on Jeffbullas’s Blog.

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6 Hacks That Will Improve Your Facebook Ads by @ashleymadhatter

6 Hacks That Will Improve Your Facebook Ads by @ashleymadhatter

Whether you’re new to Facebook advertising or you’re a “pro”, there’s always room for improvement and certain hacks that can get you more engagement and conversions.

There’s just about a million different ways to succeed – and fail – with Facebook ads, but the hacks below should help lead your campaigns toward success.

These Facebook ad hacks are designed to improve your ad creative, offering unique ways to make an ad more attractive and convertible. So often an ad can fail simply because it’s creative wasn’t thought out as much as the targeting was.

Advertisers can get in the habit of pushing out ad after ad without actually thinking about what makes an ad attractive to users. Facebook is a platform designed around the user experience, and the ads shouldn’t be any different.

Create ads on Facebook that both Facebook and users will love with these six ad creative hacks.

Hack #1: Stock Videos Are Better than No Videos

Tired of hearing that you need to create videos but have no idea where to begin? You aren’t alone.

Not every business has the time or capability to make videos at the drop of a hat for a Facebook advertising campaign. Yet we all know how important video creative is for social media these days.

A video on Facebook receives on average 135 percent more organic reach than a Facebook photo. Photos used to be the most engaging type of creative on social media, but video has quickly surpassed images and is now the thing.

So here’s the solution:

Stock videos.

I know, I know, stock anything is frowned upon. But in a situation like this where Facebook is more willing to show video ads over image ads and people are more willing to respond to video, you need to get video from somewhere.

Plus, we now have so many different stock websites to choose from, you’re bound to find a type of style that fits with your brand and doesn’t feel so stock-like.

Quickly and easily put together a video for your next Facebook ad campaign with these steps:

  1. Head over to Adobe Stock’s video selection and start there. Adobe has one of the largest selections of stock video footage to choose from, meaning they have something for every type of industry.
  2. Select a video based on your story. The type of video you choose needs to tell a story and mimic the kind of emotion you’re trying to capture with your ad’s messaging. If you’re trying to get new leads for a financial investment company, the video can begin by focusing on the hardships of investing with a video of money being burned or thrown down a drain. The video can then transition to a person happily sitting at a desk with an advisor. The video needs to tell a story that addresses your messaging, emotion, and solution.
  3. Make the video your own with branding. No one needs to know that you didn’t spend thousands of dollars and hire an entire production team to produce this video. Simply add a logo or a text overlay to the video and a call to action slide with the company’s information at the end and voila!

Hack #2: Avoid Using the Color Blue in Ad Creative

Facebook’s primary color is blue — #3b5998 to be exact. Using images and videos that have blue tones in your ad campaigns isn’t going to help your ad stand out in the News Feed.

Sample Facebook ad using a color other than blue

By the way, I’m not referring to a solid blue image with text. I’m talking about anything that has a blue hue to it such as a sky background, ocean waves, or a person standing in front of a blue wall. These blue tones will make the ad blend in with the News Feed, which is exactly what we don’t want an ad to do.

Instead of focusing on blue tones, try using colors that match your brand especially if they’re vivid colors like orange, green, and red.

Orange is blue’s complementary color so not only will it stand out, but it will look darn good in the News Feed.

Hack #3: Be a Fun Ad & Include Emojis in the Ad Copy

Everyone loves a good emoji these days, so why not include one or two in your ad copy? There are two rules to live by when using emojis in your ad copy:

  1. Do not overuse emojis.
  2. Only use emojis that make sense with the copy.

No one will appreciate four rain drop emojis, two poop face emojis, and the cat with heart eyes next to copy about booking a winter vacation. The emojis need to be relevant to the action you want the user to make and the emotion you’re trying to convey.

Sample Facebook ad using speaker emojis

Take this ad for example. They used the speaker emoji to communicate “turn on your sound.” These emojis make for an extra awesome addition because so often people watch videos on social media without their sound on.

By having a little extra encouragement in the ad copy with the speaker emojis, it’s telling users you’re not going to want to watch this without sound. So turn it up!

Hack #4: Don’t Just Rely on the Button for Website Traffic

Facebook ad objectives should be something easy for users to do, and something they’ll actually want to do.

One way of accomplishing both of these things is by including a link to your website/landing page in the ad copy.

Sample Facebook ad with a link to website in ad copy

Sure, the call to action button will direct users there, but the button can really feel “ad-like.” What I mean by that is just about everyone knows if a Facebook post has “Sponsored” on it and a call to action button, then it’s an ad.

Users, just like yourself, don’t like to be advertised to and forced to do something. We’d rather make the choice ourselves, knowing where we’ll end up.

Psychologically, it can feel more comfortable for users to make the decision on their own to leave Facebook by simply clicking on the link within the ad copy. They know exactly what they’re getting themselves into and they’re choosing to go to that destination, versus clicking on “Learn More” not knowing where they’ll actually go.

Aside from the “feelings” side to this reasoning, adding the URL in the ad copy also gives the user the option to act quickly. If they like what they’ve read and want to respond, give them the option to do so without having to get all the way down to the button.

Hack #5: Design an Ad Your Audience Will Be Attracted To

I know, seems like a common sense type of tip, but it’s actually one of the biggest tips people forget about. Facebook even offers this in their very black and white “Creative Tips” because it’s so important for advertisers to focus on.

Not only does your ad copy need to speak to your demographic, but your imagery and video, too. Let’s dissect Facebook’s example.

Sample Facebook ads designed specifically for certain demographics

To the left, you’ll see an ad for a restaurant that focuses on a cocktail. This ad is targeting a younger, millennial type of audience that most likely has a 9-to-5 job and enjoys going out with coworkers at the end of the day for a drink. This is a very specific type of person, even though we can probably all relate, and the ad is created just for that part of the restaurant’s demographic.

The photo to the right is by the same restaurant but is targeting their older demographic, the portion of their customer base that comes in just for the food. If the restaurant had used the same cocktail photo to attract that older audience, say 50+ years old, they may have turned the audience away by looking too much like a bar atmosphere and not a restaurant.

It’s quite rare for a business to only have one profile of a customer. This is why it’s so important to create multiple ads, each speaking to your different customers.

Hack #6: Ask a Question Right Off the Bat

We’re all here to provide some sort of solution to our customers, right? Right!

By addressing the issue in the beginning of an ad, you’re stopping a user in their tracks from continuing on with their regularly scheduled News Feed.

  • Need help bulking up, but don’t know which protein powder is right for you?
  • Tired of spending your mornings sorting through emails?
  • Worried the IRS is going to come after your business?

Each of these questions speaks to a unique audience and addresses a primary concern for them. It gives each user a reason to keep reading the ad, look at the imagery and/or watch the ad’s video.

Sample Facebook ad that asks a question right from the start

Don’t believe an ad hack can be as simple as inserting a question at the beginning of the ad copy? A/B test your next ad objective with Ad A asking a question at the beginning of your ad copy and Ad B not asking a question anywhere in the copy.


The next time you’re working on a creative for a new Facebook ad campaign, try implementing these six hacks and watch your conversions soar.

Image Credits

In-Post Images: Screenshots by author. Taken June 2017.

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How to Alter Your Campaign Values Using Google Tag Manager

How to Alter Your Campaign Values Using Google Tag Manager

Campaign tagging is an important aspect of your analytics setup. It’s one of the critical elements in reducing your dark traffic. But sometimes, the tags on the url don’t pull into Google Analytics perfectly, and require a little finesse on the back end to populate your reports properly.

For example:

  1. You want to promote a Facebook post that you previously tagged as unpromoted, but want to add additional campaign tags to indicate you’ve paid to promote it.
  2. You have a set of links that have campaign parameters built for another secondary system, and you don’t want to (or can’t) add additional utm parameters to get that same data into GA.
  3. You have nondescript campaign tags that you want to make human-readable in reports.

Fortunately, Google Tag Manager (GTM) gives you the ability to change all of these. The trick is to update your Pageview Tag in GTM with these Fields to Set:

  • campaignMedium
  • campaignSource
  • campaignName
  • campaignContent
  • campaignKeyword

For all of these scenarios, you set these 5 fields in your Pageview Tag, and set a variable to change it as needed.

Scenario 1: Facebook Post Unpromoted to Promoted

You want to promote a Facebook post that you previously tagged as unpromoted, but want to add additional campaign tags to indicate you’ve promoted it.

First, you’re tagging all your Facebook posts even if you don’t promote the post, right? It probably looks something like this:

It’s doing pretty well so a few days later, when you go to promote it, you realize you can’t change the existing link — but you CAN add an additional parameter, which you do:

However, in GA you’d have to pull in the keyword dimension to distinguish these two. So let’s rewrite this in GTM so your campaign medium comes in as paid-social when the utm_source is facebook and utm_term is paid.

  1. Create a new variable type URL
  2. Set the Component Type to Query
  3. Set the Query Key to the corresponding query (example below, utm_campaign)
  4. Repeat this process to create all 5 variables for each corresponding campaign value

Your completed variables should look like this.

  1. Create a new variable, type Custom JavaScript
  2. Write your javascript to rewrite when you’re conditions are met. When term is paid, and medium is social, and the source is facebook, rewrite the medium to paid-social. For the example above, you can use this snippet (note this is if each of your campaign variables are named similar to the utm_campaign example above):

/*Rewrite the medium to paid social when conditions are met */

var medium = ;
if ( == “paid” && medium == “social” && == “facebook”) {
  medium = “paid-social”;  
return medium;

  1. Create or edit your Pageview tag
  2. Under More Settings > Fields to Set, set each of the 5 campaign fields (also noted above)
    1. campaignMedium – use your modified variable
    2. campaignSource – use your URL query variable
    3. campaignName – use your URL query variable
    4. campaignContent – use your URL query variable
    5. campaignKeyword – use your URL query variable

Now preview, test, and publish. You’ll see traffic to this url:”  

appear as a medium of paid-social along with your other paid social traffic.

*Note this was written before the Google Analytics Settings Variable came out. These same settings can be done in that variable instead.

Scenario 2: Using a different campaign parameter

For some reason you don’t use Google’s utm parameters, but have custom parameters you’d prefer to use instead.

For example, your email program adds their own campaign parameter (for example, emailname) for their own tracking purposes to all links. You want to add GA parameters, but you also want to pull the emailname parameter into your campaign tag.

Your tagged links look something like this:

However, in Google Analytics, you want the Campaign name to be populated with what is in emailname. So let’s rewrite the campaign name value, but ONLY when the emailname parameter is present.

  1. Create a new variable, type URL
  2. Set the Component Type to Query
  3. Set the Query Key to the corresponding query
  4. Repeat this process to create all 5 variables for each corresponding campaign value (see step 1, scenario 1)
  5. Create a 6th variable type URL for your custom campaign variable (example below, utm_campaign)

  1. Create a new variable, type Custom JavaScript
  2. Write your javascript to return the emailcampaign value when present, or the utm_campaign value when it’s not. For the example above, you can use this snippet (note this is if each of your campaign variables are named similar to the utm_campaign example above):

/*Return the campaign email campaign variable when available or regular campaign variable when not */

var emailcampaign = || ;
 return emailcampaign;

  1. Create or edit your Pageview tag
  2. Under More Settings > Fields to Set, set each of the 5 campaign fields (also noted above)
    1. campaignMedium – use your URL query variable
    2. campaignSource – use your URL query variable
    3. campaignName – use your modified campaign selector variable
    4. campaignContent – use your URL query variable
    5. campaignKeyword – use your URL query variable

Now preview, test, and publish. You’ll see traffic to this url:

Appear as a campaign name of july-monthly directly in your campaign reports.

Scenario 3: Rewrite nondescript campaign tags

The names you want to use for your campaign information aren’t something you want visible in your URLs.

For example, you want emails with links that address different types of issues for a customer to be tagged, but don’t want display how they’ve been tagged to the customer.

Your tagged links look something like this:

However, when pulling your reports, you’d prefer not to have to look up what the campaign code “rpt” means. So, let’s use a lookup table in GTM to rewrite these codes.

  1. Create a new variable, type URL
  2. Set the Component Type to Query
  3. Set the Query Key to the corresponding query
  4. Repeat this process to create all 5 variables for each corresponding campaign value (see step 1, scenario 1)
  1. Create a new variable type Lookup Table
  2. Set your input variable to your campaign variable
  3. Create your lookup table with the codes for Input and the readable version in Output
  4. Set Default Value to your campaign variable . This is important so other tags that are not coded will still be set properly.

  1. Create or edit your Pageview tag
  2. Under More Settings > Fields to Set, set each of the 5 campaign fields (also noted above)
    1. campaignMedium – use your URL query variable
    2. campaignSource – use your URL query variable
    3. campaignName – use your Lookup Table modified variable
    4. campaignContent – use your URL query variable
    5. campaignKeyword – use your URL query variable

Now preview, test, and publish. You’ll see traffic to this url:

Appear as a campaign name of instructions-help directly in your campaign reports.

A Few Final Tips for Changing Campaign Tagging in GTM

  • If you choose to manually set/modify one of the five main campaign parameters, in your GTM pageview tag, set them all. This avoids campaign tagging breaking for the other parameters.
  • When testing any modification to campaign values, make sure that you test not only the rewrite, but other variations that you wouldn’t want rewritten including manual tags and clicking on an organic link, to make sure nothing is inadvertently removed.

The three scenarios outlined are just examples, your cases may vary. If you take this blog post to modify your campaign variables in a different way tell me about it in the comments.

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